There are occasions where I wonder about the diagnosis J received because his vocabulary is so good, he can mask a great deal simply because at times he can talk the talk and give a good impression of having understood and processed things when in fact he has not.
There are other occasions when I know that the diagnosis of autism was quite correct and J tells me in no uncertain terms either verbally or in other ways. His non-verbal ways include retreating under a table, hands over ears while he hisses loudly at all comers!
Sometimes like all those on the spectrum he is unfailingly truthful with no thought about how his words or actions affect others - or maybe he HAS considered how his actions affect someone and does it anyway.
So J does NOT like being teased or laughed at or called names, it upsets and distresses him but it also makes him very angry. His anger has led to several incidents in school which have often involved him bolting from the classroom or retreating under a desk to hiss at anyone who comes near.
Just lately though his talk while upset about things is of physical violence and he wants to hit or punch someone or other for their wrongs against him. We have talked about this in depth and J knows that hitting others is both wrong and not very nice. However, as I explained to the nice CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) who visited to carry out an assessment, it IS just talk and so far he has not hit anyone. Little did I know that as we were talking, the school were sorting out yet another issue of teasing which had culminated in J thumping the boy who had upset him. The school had handled this very well (as is usual with them) and J had eventually apologised to the other child who had graciously apologised for teasing him and accepted J's apology. All was well.
So that evening I discuassed the incident with J who explained that the other boy who is in the year above him had called him "stupid". This had upset J very much and so ..."I hit him".
I asked J how he had felt after hitting the other child expecting to hear "I was sorry" but instead got "I felt pleased because it hurt him and I wanted it to really hurt".
Okaaayyyyyy! So we discussed it further while J raged about being teased and told me about all the other children he planned to hit too! Then eventually he calmed down and told me "but then after a while I felt sad about hurting him and I said sorry and he said sorry too and we are both alright".
So this child teased J, he processed it but could not follow the usual rules about finding an adult (or maybe DID think about that and chose to ignore that advice) and the other child was thumped. J was utterly truthful about his intentions to hurt and that worries me a great deal, he is getting bigger all the time and much stronger. He is also maturing though and with that maturity might come more self control.
I am hoping......